Wow, well what an amazing and emotional day. I’m writing this in my room where I’m currently suffering from a horrible temperature and feeling really rotten. I think it might be one of those illnesses that strikes after a really long period of adrenalin and stress as your body just relaxes after a huge event. Yesterday began with a lecture about the role of the course director in the industry and also us going through the course director contract, it ended with a warning note about not heading out on a rampage in Punta Cana that evening wearing PADI branded stuff! Afterwards we headed back to do the last teaching presentation. This was just a standard prescriptive one so it was more to with evaluation. I scored a 5 and 6/6 on the evaluation so it was a great way to end the course. Then we had our lunch before heading back over for final counselling and to see if we’d passed. The whole group waited nervously outside a couple of rooms and we were called in individually. As each successful person emerged there were whoops and cheers and social media started going nuts. Finally I was called into the room where I met Fiona, she went through the scores, I managed 96% overall, and congratulated me before telling me she was looking forward to my work in London. And with that, it was done, I emerged to cheers from the team and we had a lots of group photos before heading to the pool bar for a celebratory beer. We then had time for a quick tactical nap before the graduation banquet at 6. Again unfortunately due to the hurricane, which was a bit of a non-event, the dinner had been moved from Playa Blanca to the conference room. The evening began with loads of team photos and then James congratulating us all again followed by a delicious buffet. Afterward James played a slideshow of pics from the course which was quite emotional and then we had the graduation ceremony. We all received a pack with a certificate, card and badge and then the celebrations really got underway. A whole bunch of us ended up in the pool with lots of rum and coke and I had a massive cigar which I pretty much smoked in it’s entirety which may be part of the reason I feel so wrong today! It was an epic party and a great feeling and we ended the day on a high.
Jen and I are here until Sunday, flying in the evening and arriving back home on Monday. We’re going to take the next few days to really relax and soak it all in. It’s been an incredible journey to get here and I was saying to Dave last night, it’s a strange feeling, in that I never quite thought I’d achieve this but in a way, I’ve always been heading here. See you all soon.